Who Is To Blame For The Failure To Consecrate Russia: You…Me…Popes?

For some time, now,  I have queried the claim (widely spread around these days, not least in the Blogosphere) that the Consecration of Russia has not been done because not enough of us are doing our bit by carrying out the Fatima requests to make the First Saturdays, pray the daily Rosary, wear the Brown Scapular etc.  In my humble opinion, that doesn’t make sense.  It doesn’t make sense to me that Our Lady would ask the Pope and Bishops to do this Consecration, in a precise manner, with no mention of any such conditions involving the rest of the faithful, and then, some years later, find the Fatima “experts” are blaming us for the failure of the Pope/Bishops to carry out the Consecration.  At our recent Conference, Father Nicholas Mary C.SS.R mentioned this claim, and when I queried it, he promised to find the origin of it. Today, I received the following email from him providing the source.  Father wrote:

Many sound authors quote Sr Lucia’s assertion that the consecration of Russia would take place “when a sufficient number are fulfilling the requests” of Our Lady of Fatima. There are also other passages from her writings and interviews where she says something similar. Nonetheless the origin of the precise quotation you questioned me about in public recently is as follows:

In 1946 Sr Lucia told John Haffert in an interview that “the Holy Father and all the Bishops will unite to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.” He then writes:

“‘And do you think the conversion of Russia and peace will follow?’ I asked, catching my breath. ‘Yes,’ she said deliberately. ‘Yes, that is what Our Lady promised.’ ‘But when, Sister,’ I asked, ‘when will it happen?’ ‘It will happen,’ she replied. ‘There might be much more suffering (we had been talking of the awful civil war in Spain), more nations may be afflicted, but it will happen when a sufficient number are fulfilling the requests.’” [John M. Haffert – Russia will be converted, Washington, New Jersey, 1956 (2nd ed.), AMI Press, p. 246]

Although John Haffert (of Blue Army fame) later went astray, at the time of the above writing, he was regarded as a reliable Fatima source, so this quotation surprised me. Still, I noted that Sr Lucia does not claim to be quoting Our Lady; arguably, then, it is possible that she was giving her own opinion. In any case, I sent the above text to a friend in the south of England, who is something of an expert on Marian apparitions in general and Fatima in particular.  He replies:

It does seem difficult to refute [that quote]. But in 1929 at the Tuy vision, Our Lady said that the moment had come (emphasis mine) for the Pope & bishops to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart.  I wouldn’t have thought it was entirely dependent on how many were living the Fatima message, because at that time, only 12 years after the initial events occurred, the full message wasn’t widely known then.  As I understand it, the message of Fatima applies to all humanity – for the laity, religious and priests to live the Fatima message:- i.e. the daily rosary, brown scapular, consecration to the Immaculate Heart, First Saturdays etc, and for the Pope and the Bishops in union with him to do all those things as well, but in their case also to specifically consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  The Fatima Network seems to say that there must be some co-operation from the laity in the Fatima message, obviously, but it doesn’t seem to make the consecration absolutely dependent on  it.  Source

Self-evidently, it can only be a good thing if more and more Catholics make the First Saturdays, pray the Rosary, wear the Brown Scapular and make sacrifices for sinners etc.  That’s not the issue.  The issue is, IS the fulfilment of those of Our Lady’s requests which apply to the faithful at large, a condition of the Pope’s/Bishops’ fulfilment of Our Lady’s request to them to consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart?  I can’t see it.  Can you?

Note: in the original post, submitted earlier today, I omitted Father Nicholas Mary’s name and mention of the Conference, but he has asked me to amend the post to make the context entirely clear: thus, I have restored that part of his email which states that I “questioned him in public”.  Those bloggers/readers who attended the Conference and witnessed the exchange will recall that it was polite and respectful. Some may consider that I, as a mere laywoman, had no right “questioning” Father “in public”, but I did so merely to correct what I believe to be a misleading opinion about where responsibility for the Consecration of Russia, lies.  If I am proven to be wrong, I will gladly apologise for questioning Father Nicholas Mary.  I am always grateful for necessary correction myself, so feel free to speak your minds, one and all.

Comments invited…

Medjugorje True AND False! It’s A Joke!

“The Ruini Report”: If Only It Were a Joke
The Anti-Fatima Apparition Gains Ground

by Christopher A. Ferrara
May 18, 2017

The findings of the long-awaited “Ruini Report” of the Ruini Commission (named after its chairman, Cardinal Camillo Ruini), concerning the validity of the so-called Marian apparitions at Medjugorje that have supposedly been going on since 1981, have now been revealed. The result of the Commission’s labors, which began during the reign of Benedict XVI, is just what one would expect in the post-conciliar epoch: a refusal to state clearly that a proposition concerning the Faith is simply true or false, right or wrong.

This ridiculous report “splits the difference” between a declaration that the apparitions alleged by the six Medjugorje “seers” are not supernatural in origin and thus a fake, and a declaration — like those pertaining to Fatima — that the apparitions are of supernatural origin and thus worthy of belief. In other words: the apparitions are both true and false, depending on which ones you examine! If only it were a joke.

Catholic News Agency provides an overview of this preposterous approach: the first seven “apparitions,” allegedly occurring between June 24 and July 3, 1981, drew “13 votes in favor of recognizing the supernatural nature of the first visions. A member voted against and an expert expressed a suspensive vote….”

What about the thousands of apparitions thereafter, which allegedly continue to this day at pre-announced times even though the “visionaries” said they would end, and which are filled with repetition, banalities and statements by “the Virgin” positively contrary to the Faith?  For example, in one apparition “the Virgin” states: “Before God all the faiths are identical.  God governs them like a king in his kingdom.”

Here the Commission adopted an utterly absurd two-step analysis that allowed it to avoid declaring the whole Medjugorje event a fake:

“On this second stage, the committee voted in two steps. Firstly, taking into account the spiritual fruits of Medjugorje but leaving aside the behaviors of the seers. On this point, 3 members and 3 experts say there are positive outcomes, 4 members and 3 experts say they are mixed, with a majority of positive effects, and the remaining 3 experts claim there are mixed positive and negative effects.

“If, in addition to the spiritual fruits, the behaviors of the seers is also taken into account, eight members and four experts believe that an opinion cannot be expressed, while two other members have voted against the supernatural nature of the phenomenon.”

So, when the analysis considers the behavior of the “visionaries,” the credibility of their supposed visions diminishes and no consensus even on “good fruits” emerges, although only two commission members are willing to state outright the obvious conclusion that the apparitions are not supernatural and thus are fakes. Yet these same “visionaries” are deemed credible respecting the first seven apparitions by 13 members of this laughable commission of hair-splitters.

In essence, the Commission (except for two members) has decided that the “visionaries” were telling the truth regarding the first seven “apparitions” but that, since then, they have been conducting the longest running fraud in the history of Marian apparitions, concerning which the Commission labors to avoid expressing the truth openly. And these six fraudsters are supposedly the chosen messengers of the Mother of God.

If only it were a joke. Well, it is a joke, but the Vatican is evidently going to take this report seriously despite the objections expressed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which will be ignored just as surely as they were respecting Amoris Laetitia. As Pope Bergoglio remarked concerning the Commission’s “split-decision” during the return flight to Rome after his visit to Fatima: “At the end of 2013 or the beginning of 2014, I received the results from Cardinal Ruini.  The commission was made up of good theologians, bishops and cardinals.  Good, good, good people.  The Ruini report is very, very good.”

What is “very, very good” according to Pope Bergoglio is the Commission’s bogus distinction between “the first apparitions, “when [the ‘seers’] were young” and “the alleged current apparitions” in which the Virgin is depicted as “a telegraph operator who sends out a message every day at a certain time… this is not the mother of Jesus.” Indeed, it is not. Nor could it have been in 1981, for the Mother of God does not appear to people whom She would certainly foresee would perpetrate a decades-long fraud on the Church and the world in Her name.

Curiously, the same Pope Bergoglio who belittles what he views as the hairsplitting of theologians on matters as fundamental as the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist, suddenly finds merit in the hairsplitting of this absurd theological commission respecting the manifest fakery of the Medjugorje apparitions. But then Pope Bergoglio has never failed to be consistent in his inconsistency.

And so, the anti-Fatima apparition gains ground, while the Message of Fatima is reduced by the Pope himself to a prescription for social justice and peace among people of all religions or no religion at all. What an insult to the Virgin Mother of God, Whose warning to the Church and all of humanity at Fatima continues to be spurned by the blind guides of the upper hierarchy, who march triumphantly toward the edge of the abyss into which they would lead the rest of us.   Source – fatima.org

Comments invited…

Catholic Truth Conference Huge Success!

Our Conference, held to mark the 100th anniversary of the Fatima Apparitions, and to note, too, the 100th edition of the Catholic Truth Newsletter, was, by any standards, hugely successful. 

The event began with the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary, Hymn Bring Flowers of the rarest and crowning of Our Lady’s beautiful statue – that privilege was given to the little 4 year old daughter of one of our readers, who was thrilled at having been chosen to do this. We had other young people helping out at the various stalls and being general dogsbodies. To each of them our heartfelt gratitude. Our thanks, too, to Chairman Paul who took us through the day calmly and efficiently.

The four speakers were all well received and feedback has been largely positive. Here’s a sample:

Very good speakers. I really enjoyed it. Look forward to another. Motherwell Diocese.
(Ed: there isn’t going to be another – that was our Grand Finale, but it’s great that it has been such a success, and we leave the world of conferences on a high!)

Fr Nicholas Mary – most interesting talk. Learned so much! Ellen Ward – very strong speaker. Loved her account of Legion work and the priority of saving souls.  Fr Mann, very informative and thought-provoking…  Northampton Diocese (England)

The day was very interesting and learned a lot. I felt there was a strong message to take away with us and share with others; my only negative would be a lot of the talk would have been so off putting for people searching for Jesus (my own family being first). Surely God is love and wold bring people to his love and then they would learn the truth and turn away from sin. Ended up being very disturbed.  Galloway Diocese

All in all, however, the day was a great success, with the Fatima and piety stalls doing great “business” and the new initiative, Crusaders of Mary, drawing much interest.  Thanks to Joe and John who brought the Fatima Statue and beautiful banners over from County Cork for our use and for helping to make our Conference such a success.  Thanks, too, to John Blyth from Edinburgh, whose piety stall was very busy – as is usual at our Conferences.

Our American blogger, Wurdesmythe, has given the thumbs up to the Conference, and is set to enjoy the rest of his stay with us, before returning home on Thursday.  Chairman, Paul, called him up to the front of the hall at the start of the day to return his cheque/check in payment of his ticket, because, he said, we wanted to put to rest, once and for all,  the myth of the “mean Scot” !

One last word…

Note: one of a group of women from the Diocese of Galloway, expressed concern in the Q & A sessions, because she (and I believe others in her group) act as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (EMHC) and she had been offended at remarks made by me about the “poisonous” effect of the novus ordo Mass and the diminution of belief in the Real Presence (or words to that effect).  She said they had to act as EMHC because they had no priests. For your information and interest, visit the  website of the Diocese of Galloway.

Perhaps we could use this thread to offer comments to help the Galloway group of EMHCs to come to a deeper realisation of how seriously wrong it is for lay people to handle the Blessed Sacrament: key question: is a shortage of priests really a good enough reason to allow this practice? And, perhaps  some of those who attended might respond to the lady from Galloway who remarked that the “a lot of the talk would have been so off putting for people searching for Jesus…[because] God is love…”

Comments invited…

Fatima, the Left, and the Coming Terror

Latest Fatima Center E-Newsletter

“Terror is nothing more than speedy, severe and inflexible justice; it is thus an emanation of virtue; it is less a principle in itself, than a consequence of the general principle of democracy, applied to the most pressing needs of the patrie.”
– Maximilien Robespierre, 1794


The Rage of the Left and the Coming Terror

In 1989, France marked the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution. It was a strained celebration, for even its most ardent apologists were compelled to admit the bloody and sordid nature of much that the Revolution encompassed. The guillotine remains its most enduring symbol.

The revolutionary leaders called for freedom, equality and brotherhood, and then proceeded to kill anyone deemed to stand in the way of these noble ideals, eventually murdering one another in the paroxysm of a brutal power struggle. (See:  “The 14 Bloodiest, Most Brutally Horrific Moments of the French Revolution”.)

In 1989, Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev went to Paris to participate in the bicentennial celebration and said, “The spirit of the French Revolution has always been present in the social life of our country.” As columnist Charles Krauthammer then observed: “Few attempts at ingratiation have been more true or more damning.” 

The bloodbath and horrors of communism have much in common with the bloodbath and horrors of what is now called “The Terror.” The Bolsheviks and the French Revolutionaries both relied on political assassination, domestic spying, denunciations and imprisonments, show trials and the criminalization of all dissent. Both terrorized the populace while committing their crimes in the name of “the People.” Tyrants always claim a democratic mandate.

 

The French Revolution’s Committee for Public Safety condemned to death almost 17,000 people in one year. (See:  “Reign of Terror”.)  This is a negligible body count when laid against the tens of millions that have been sacrificed on the altar of communism. We prefer to think that men such as Robespierre and Stalin are creatures of bygone eras and that conditions no longer allow for such horrors to be perpetrated. Perhaps, we should think again.

The Pope and the Antifa

Pope Francis has been called the new leader of the global Left. He has not demurred from the acclimation. He has been flatteringly featured in publications that can hardly be considered supportive of Catholic teaching, such as Rolling Stone. He has been praised by leaders of the pro-abortion movement, such as Hillary Clinton. Those who favor unrestricted Muslim immigration in the West and open borders feel they have a friend in Francis, and they are seldom disappointed.

But those who favor traditional Church teaching, including the indissolubility of marriage and the norms for receiving the sacraments, have felt the sting of the Pope’s rebuke and been subjected to personal insult. He does not answer dubia — questions concerning his positions; he denigrates the questioners. The ad hominem attack is his default mode. (See:  “Now Francis Targets ‘Rigid’ Youth: But what does “rigid” mean? And why does Francis never tell us?”.)

 Pope Francis acts more like a politician courting a constituency than the Vicar of Christ propagating a timeless teaching (See:  “An Interview with George Neumayr, Author of The Political Pope). His tactics are those of a candidate trying to undermine his opponent by character assassination. Missing from the voluminous homilies, speeches, interviews and press conferences of this pontiff is reasoned argument for his positions. (See:  “The Laity Roar While the Cardinals Meow: The Catastrophe that is Amoris Laetitia.) He relies on caricature, invective and vague “gospel” imperatives, which have an elasticity that can be adapted to most any circumstance.

Francis denounces “populism” as dangerous and fascistic whenever he disagrees with the “people.” Otherwise, he defends popular fashions in morals and ideology, often opposing the “living” reality of the times to the outmoded intransigence of traditional doctrine. He is with you so long as you are with him. We have never had a Pope who is so divorced from the normal exercise of his office and so eager for the approbation of the ruling classes, that is, the globalist Left. (See:  “For 2017 More of the Same: Leftist Politics Wrapped in the Language of Catholic Piety”.)

Meanwhile, the Left with which the Pope has aligned himself has suffered some setbacks, and it is not taking them well. Donald Trump has won the presidency of the United States; a “conservative” has been appointed to the Supreme Court. The unholy alliance of the “deep state” with its political masters is being exposed. The intelligence community is now known to be corrupt and untrustworthy. Democrats still control the media, but are hemorrhaging popular support. They appear more and more like generals without an army.

In Europe, the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union. French nationalism is rising. Poland and Hungary are resisting Muslim immigration. And the narrative of current events is no longer tightly controlled by the propaganda arm of globalism — that is, the major news outlets — but is coming into public view, in factual and unedited form, from a growing number of information sites via the Web.

The Left has not, until recently, been called upon to defend itself. The ruling elites were protected from hard questioning by a supportive media that vilified anyone who subjected their positions to scrutiny. The media, like the Pope, resorts to the ad hominem attack as a matter of course. But their credibility is greatly diminished and the media’s fairness and accuracy are now being subjected to a scrutiny they have never before had to face. The control of the Left, which appeared so formidable for so long, is now unravelling.

The late John Vennari once memorably said that logic and liberalism cannot co-exist in the same head. Traced to its principle, a liberal position tends to fall apart from lack of coherence, internal contradiction or a collision with obvious facts. That Islam is a “Religion of Peace” is an example of a patently absurd liberal position; yet, every globalist, from George Bush to Angela Merkel to Pope Francis, has repeated this absurdity with the apparent expectation that it will be believed — or that people will fear to contradict the claim because the media will discredit and destroy anyone who dissents. (See:  “America Magazine Frets over Catholics’ Lack of Love for Islam”.) Facts, for the Left, are irrelevant. It is the narrative that is important, and the narrative can be shaped to suit the needs of the moment.

The Left is demonic in that its position is that of Lucifer: it wants to usurp the prerogatives of the Creator and refashion the world according to its likes and dislikes. It reverses Our Lord’s prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane and says, “Not Thy will, but mine be done.”  And it uses whatever tool is at hand to smash the natural order that stands in its way. Muslim immigration is just a tool for smashing what remains of European Christian culture. Transgenderism is a tool for smashing what remains of traditional sexual morality. Entitlement programs are a tool for smashing what remains of personal self-reliance. And all of this destruction is done in the name of compassion, of mercy. To oppose globalism is to be mean, bigoted, un-Christian. (See:  “Pope Francis Suggests Donald Trump Is ‘Not Christian’”.) It is to build walls instead of bridges. It is to invite finger wagging and invective from the Pope.

And while the Pope is vilifying the Left’s opponents daily at the Casa Santa Marta, mobs of masked “protesters” are appearing in cities across America and Europe. They are called the Antifa – for anti-fascists. It is a bit of Orwellian Newspeak from the Left’s Ministry of Truth. The Antifa disguise their faces, shout obscenities, beat people up, hurl trash cans through windows, set cars on fire, block traffic and shout down anyone who would say anything with which they disagree. They oppose free speech, freedom of assembly for any group they dislike, and are prepared to use violence if they don’t get what they want. The Antifa are, in short, fascists. (See:  “What is ‘Antifa’? And why is the media so reluctant to expose it?”.)

In Berkeley, they enjoy the protection of the University administration, the mayor and the police. (See:  “WOW! BERKELEY MAYOR Who Allegedly Told Police To ‘Stand Down’ Is Part Of Antifa Terrorist Facebook Group”.) We are asked to believe that the police force is no match for this rabble and therefore cannot guarantee the physical safety of conservative speakers, such as Ann Coulter. How stupid does the Left think the public is? There is collusion on a growing scale between the Left, the street mobs they incite and direct and the parts of the government they still control. That the Left is turning to orchestrated violence is a sign of things to come. If they cannot succeed through electoral politics, they will try to assert their will through social disruption, through fear, and then blame the chaos and bloodshed on the victims, the so-called fascists who had to be opposed for the sake of freedom and justice.

Just how far will the Left go to regain the power they have temporarily lost? This remains to be seen. One thing is apparent, however: civil discourse is no longer on the table. This is a struggle for raw power in which every outrage against decency is being justified in the name of “saving our democracy.” Network television programs now feature obscene rants against Trump and Republicans as a matter of course. The foulest language and fiercest hatred is countenanced as “entertainment.” It appears probable that the situation will only grow worse, for recent history shows that once the bar of decency has been lowered, it is never raised again. We can only descend at this point to ever more repulsive and brutish behavior on the part of the media in support of the Left.

 

The Long View and What We Can Expect

There is a professor in Berkeley named George Lakoff. He specializes in something called “cognitive linguistics.” Lakoff has long aspired to a role in politics, having offered his services to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. He is now counseling the Left on how it should regroup in light of the Trump victory. What he urges is what he calls “framing” the debate through the use of metaphors — that is, inventing appealing names for repellent things. (See:  “Moral Politics (book)”.)

His premise is that of the elite class: most people are too stupid to know what is in their best interest. The direction of their lives is best left in the hands of their intellectual and moral superiors, i.e. Lakoff and the Left. Hobbled by a nominal democracy, however, the smart people are compelled to manipulate the obtuse proletariat. Lakoff says this can best be done by using words that bypass reason and reach the unconscious, for reason is wasted on the masses. (See:  “The Framing Wars”.)

Conservatives supposedly believe in what Lakoff calls the “Strict Father” model of the family, which he describes as authoritarian and cruel; it is opposed to the goodness and light of what he calls the “nurturant parent” model, favored by the benevolent Left. Lakoff wants the Left to use language to move people from the authoritarian model of the family to the nurturant parent model. But Lakoff’s strategy requires patience. It is also seen by some on the Left as academic theorizing that may or may not hold good in the real world. Meanwhile, the Left is opting for the fascism of the Antifa. It is trying to shut down the opposition through suppressing free speech.  But Lakoff’s approach may also be tried.

Lakoff wants Democrats to stop using terms such as “federal regulations” and to talk instead about “protections.” He suggests the word “taxes” be replaced by the word “investments.” The media is always amenable to offering what help it can to “progressives,” for whom Lakoff is a self-appointed strategist, so we are likely to hear more linguistic legerdemain in the near future. The Associated Press Style Book has long used its power to push the Left’s agenda. The AP forbids the use of “pro-life” and “pro-abortion,” allowing only the term “pro-choice.” Most every newspaper and news outlet uses the AP as its usage guide. The media are likely to become the linguistic arm of the Antifa.

We should be alert to the fact that the Left is regrouping and a new language is being invented for presenting its agenda. Meanwhile, we can expect the street violence and the media assault against Trump to continue unabated. The public may tire of the turmoil and decide that Trump is too divisive a figure, a claim which the media will amplify in every way as the next election cycle approaches. If and when the Left manages to defeat its opposition, it will exercise power with an unprecedented ruthlessness. It has already discarded civil discourse and adopted the position that anyone who opposes them does not deserve a hearing, as their opponents are presumed to be motivated by racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, religious bigotry and consummate evil and stupidity of every description.

Their opponents are deemed hateful, and why should hateful people be given any quarter? Why should such deplorables be allowed to speak, or even exist? The brigades of the Antifa will be let loose, aided by all the apparatus of the government and media. The spirit of Robespierre, the patron saint of the Left, will be triumphant. How bloody will it get? It is beyond present imagination, for we find it difficult to accept possibilities that are deeply repugnant to us. But we have history as a guide.

All of the above takes into account only the human factors that shape events. There is the overarching power of Providence that can intervene at any time in unforeseen ways. We have a Pope who has sided with the Left and is trying to convince, even compel, Catholics to support the globalist agenda. The doctrinal patrimony of the Catholic Church is endangered by Francis’ alliances. No human power can effectively oppose his politicization of the Faith. Where do we turn?

Our Lady of Fatima said, “Only I can help you.” Perhaps the time is coming when the whole world will realize the truth of Her words.

Comments invited…

Fatima: Canonisations Confirmed!

Source: Neice of Fatima visionaries reflects on her remarkable family

Fatima, Portugal, Apr 20, 2017 / 06:00 am (CNA/EWTN News) …
The niece of Blessed Franciso and  
 Jacinta Marto has voiced excitement for the coming canonization of her relatives [confirmed to take place on 13th May], sharing stories of the time of the Fatima apparitions and personal memories of what it was like growing up in a family that had saints among its members.

Jacinta

“My family, my grandparents, my parents, all of us always accepted it as a gift from God,” Jacinta Pereiro Marto told CNA in an interview.

“God chose my uncle and aunt because this is what he wanted, so much that my grandfather used to say that the Virgin wanted to come to Fatima and she chose his children, but that we didn’t deserve anything,” she said.

Because of this attitude instilled in the family by her grandfather – father to Blessed Francisco and Jacinta Marto – “we always lived very simply because God chose, and he chooses who he wants. We don’t deserve anything.”

Marto, 74, is the daughter of Joao Marto, the brother of Fatima visionaries Bl. Francisco and Jacinta, and she shares the exact same name as her saintly aunt.

Just two years older than Francisco, Joao was the closest in age to the two out of the many Marto siblings.

Francisco

Bl. Francisco and Jacinta this year will become the youngest non-martyrs in the history of the Church to be canonized after witnessing apparitions of Mary, now commonly known as the Our Lady of Fatima, alongside their elder cousin Lucia dos Santos in 1917.

In her interview with CNA, Marto said that she had “the joy” of being born in the same family home as Francisco and Jacinta, and to grow up there, since her father Joao continued to live in the house with his elderly parents.

“They always instilled in me a great love for God and for the Virgin, a life of simplicity, of belief and of religiosity,” she said, speaking of her grandparents.

Their home remains the property of the family, but is now open for visitors and pilgrims to see where the visionaries grew up. Across the street, Marto runs a souvenir shop and a small museum-of-sorts containing original photos and artifacts belonging to the family, including shawls used by Jacinta, the rosary Francisco prayed with before dying, and the bed he passed away in.

Marto said that it is thanks to her grandmother Olimpia Marto, mother of Franciso and Jacinta, that she received the same name as her aunt. Olimpia had wanted a grandchild that shared the exact same name as her saintly daughter, and was told by Joao’s wife that the next girl they had would get the name.

So when Marto was born, her grandmother, who was also asked to be her godmother, chose to call her Jacinta.

“I feel very happy to be Jacinta,” Marto said, explaining that “I feel a very strong presence and a great protection from my uncle and aunt. I think that Jacinta and my uncle are protecting me.”

“I am no one, I sin like the whole world,” she said, “but I believe they are protecting me, I feel that they and Our Lady protect me.”

Recalling memories shared by her father, Marto said Joao had been present with Francisco and Jacinta at the apparition of Mary in Valinhos, which took place in August, “but he didn’t see anything.”

“It was only Francisco, Jacinta, Lucia and my father, but he said that even though he opened his eyes and looked, he saw nothing,” she said.

Around the time Mary was to appear, Jacinta wasn’t there at first, she said, explaining that when Lucia asked him to go find her, Joao “didn’t want to, because he wanted to see.” He eventually went to find Jacinta, and when she arrived Mary appeared, but even though he waited with them, Joao couldn’t see anything.

Two months later when the “miracle of the sun” took place Oct. 13, 1917, Marto said her father, who was only 11 at the time, stayed behind that day because rumors were spreading, likely from other children, that “if the miracle of the sun didn’t happen the whole family would die.”

In order to help the people believe in the authenticity of the apparitions, Lucia had asked Our Lady during the apparition of July 13, 1917, to perform a miracle so people would see that they were true.

However, on that occasion Mary responded by saying that should the children continue to come each month until October, the miracle would occur. So on Oct. 13, the last apparition of Mary to the children, 30-100,000 people gathered to witness the miracle.

News reports and witnesses from the time said the miracle took place when the formerly cloudy sky parted and the sun appeared as an opaque, spinning disk in the sky. Multi-coloured lights flashed across the landscape and those present before the sun then spun toward earth and then zig-zagged back to its normal position in the sky. Additionally, clothes and mud previously wet from the rain had dried.

But while many members of their family were present for the miracle, Marto said her father “stayed at home (because) he was afraid to die” if the miracle didn’t happen, as the rumours had stated.

At just 11 years old, Marto said her father didn’t understand everything that was going on, but that after Francisco and Jacinta died, “my father said that he cried a lot, a lot. Because he saw that everything they said was happening.”

Speaking of her grandparents, Marto said her grandfather Manuel, father of Francisco and Jacinta, didn’t initially understand some of what was happening either, but had always believed his children were telling the truth.

Jacinta was the first one to tell her parents about seeing Mary after coming home from the first apparition, Marto said, explaining that when people began to say the children had made everything up, her grandfather would respond saying: “My children are not liars. I taught them, so if they say they saw, I think they saw.”

After the first appearance Manuel accompanied his children to the following apparitions, and although he didn’t see anything, “he said that he heard a sound, like a bee inside a jar.”

He was also present for the miracle of the sun, Marto said, explaining that “if he believed before, he continued to believe” after.

Marto said that for her, this belief was extraordinary, because “my grandparents weren’t at the beatification, none of it. When their children died they were known, but not with the fame of sanctity.”

“So they thought their children were a little different from the others, but they didn’t know how it was going to be. It was a question every day,” she said, but noted that her grandfather in particular “always believed.”

Referring to news of the acceptance of a second miracle allowing for the canonization of her uncle and aunt, Marto said she feels “a big joy” knowing they will be proclaimed saints. The two will be canonized May 13, during Pope Francis’ two-day visit to Portugal.

However, she stressed that the news “is not only for the family, it’s for Portugal and the whole world. Because Our Lady came for the world, and they were a message for the world.”

“I sometimes ask myself how two children that were seven and nine years old managed to capture and respond to the message of God. They had a message and assumed this message,” she said, noting that Francisco was all about “praising God, adoring God, worshipping God.”

Jacinta, however, was primarily concerned with conversion, and wanted that “everyone return to God, that everyone convert, that everyone went to heaven.”

“She lived this in anguish,” Marto said, explaining that she often asked herself: “we who have all these means of communication, we know what is happening in the world, all the suffering in the world, we see it on television…and what do we do?”

At just 7-years-old Jacinta had visions of wars, famines and persecutions, and as a result she “assumed the responsibility” of offering and making sacrifices so that everyone could be saved.

“And us? What are we doing?” she said, stressing that with television and social media it’s not necessary to have a vision of the suffering and tragedy in the world, but “we are part of this humanity and we are a bit responsible for everyone. Sometimes we don’t think well about this.”

Marto said that for her, she believes the core of the Our Lady of Fatima’s message is that she came “that we might return to God. That we don’t forget that God loves us, but that we have to praise him and must give thanks to him.”

In addition to this, “we must pray for each other,” she said, explaining that in her instructions to the children, Mary “didn’t ask many things that we can’t do.”

Pointing to the rosary, she said that according to Lucia, Mary asked that people pray it because “it’s an easy prayer,” and can be recited at church, in the car or while walking.

If someone isn’t able to pray the rosary, Marto suggested at least trying to pray one Hail Mary and Our Father a day, to honor Mary and give thanks to God “for being our friend.”

“God loves us very much and at times sends us his mother to refresh us a bit in order continue,” she said, explaining that “God wants us to be a bit better every day. Because we are always sinners, we are not perfect, but try to be a bit better every day.”

Marto said that she hopes to be present for Pope Francis’ visit to Fatima for the centenary of the apparitions in May. Having attended the beatification of her uncle and aunt in 2000, she said she also hopes to be present for the May 13 canonization of the visionaries.

She received communion from Bl. Pope Paul VI when he became the first Pope to visit Fatima in 1967, and was also present for the visit of [Pope] John Paul II in 1982, but was farther away.

Although she wasn’t able to attend Mass when Benedict XVI came in 2010, she hopes to have a good seat at Mass with Francis, and “to be close to him.” 

To read our previous discussion on reports of possible canonisations click here

Comments invited… 

13 May: Fatima Visionaries Canonised?

From Pope to make Fatima child visionaries saints

Two child shepherds who claimed to have had holy visions in Fatima are to be made saints, possibly during Pope Francis’s upcoming trip to the Portuguese pilgrimage site.

Francis gave the go-ahead Thursday to canonise Jacinta and Francisco Marto who, along with their cousin Lucia Santos, claimed to have witnessed apparitions of the Virgin Mary in a miracle officially recognised by the Catholic Church.

The children said Mary appeared to them first on May 13, 1917, when Jacinta was seven years old, Francisco nine and Lucia 10.

The siblings, born into a poor family, fell sick during the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic which racked Europe after the First World War, with Francisco succumbing to the illness in 1919, and Jacinta following in 1920 aged just nine.

Both are buried at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima, which Francis will visit during his May 12-13 trip to mark the centenary of their first sight of Mary.

Francis’s approval of the miracle attributed to them — reportedly the curing of a Brazilian boy — was the final step needed before the children could be made saints.

They will be the youngest non-martyrs to be canonised in the history of the church.

After her first visit, the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to them several times over a six-month period, always on the 13th.

This prompted thousands to gather on the spot on October 13, 1917, with several witnesses saying they had seen the sun “miraculously” dance in the sky.

Their cousin Lucia joined a convent. In 1941 she said she and the siblings had been given three secrets by Mary; the first was a vision of Hell and the second was a warning that another, more devastating war was looming — the Second World War.

The third secret she kept to herself for years, before finally being persuaded to write it down and it was delivered to the Vatican in 1957.

Finally published in 2000, it described a vision that was believed — with its depiction of the death of a man robed in white — to have been a prophecy of the 1981 assassination attempt on pope John Paul II.

The Argentine will be the fourth pope to visit the Fatima shrine, after Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI.  Source

Comment:

How did YOU vote in the poll? 

Pope Francis Confidence Vote – Yes? No?

The Pope’s Council of Advisors Declares that it supports “His Magisterium”
But what about the Magisterium? Not so much.
by Christopher A. Ferrara
February 17, 2017  
Pope Francis - transgressing the limits of THE Magisterium...

Pope Francis – transgressing the limits of THE Magisterium…

One of Francis’ first acts as Pope was to create a Council of Cardinal Advisors, commonly known as “C9”, to advise him on ecclesial affairs. The “advice,” however, appears to constitute little more than an echo chamber for whatever Francis wishes to say.

To recall, the members of the Council are: Chilean Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa; Italian Bishop Marcello Semeraro, secretary to the Council; Indian Cardinal Oswald Gracias; German Cardinal Reinhard Marx; Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga; Italian Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello; U.S. Cardinal Sean O’Malley; Australian Cardinal George Pell; and Congolese Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya. 

All of the nine, with the exception of Pell, are radical progressives by any historical standard of Catholicism, whereas Pell, a “moderate” progressive, appears to be hanging on to his position by his fingernails.  Meanwhile, he has already been removed from the Congregation for Divine Worship, which oversees the Church’s sacred liturgy, along with Cardinal Burke, the de facto spokesman for the four cardinals who have published the dubia concerning Amoris Laetitia. (Burke has just been shuffled off to Guam.)

The C9 has leapt into action as opposition to Francis’ relentlessly progressive agenda mounts among concerned clergy and laity throughout the Catholic world, including protest posters plastering Rome and a spoof of L’Osservatore Romano wherein “Francis” answers ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ to each of the four cardinals’ dubia.  The C9 have issued an extraordinary “vote of confidence” in Francis, as if he were the head of a parliament, in the form of a Note published as part of the Vatican press briefing of February 13. The pertinent portion (my translation from the Italian) is quite striking:

“In relation to recent events, the Council of Cardinals expresses full support for the work of the Pope, assuring at the same time its adhesion to and complete support of His person and His Magisterium.”

“[In relazione a recenti avvenimenti, il Consiglio di Cardinali esprime pieno appoggio all’opera del Papa, assicurando al tempo stesso adesione e sostegno pieni alla Sua persona e al Suo Magistero.]”

Note first of all the curious typography in the Italian original, not present in the Vatican’s own English translation: “His person and His Magisterium.”  In contemporary Vatican usage the pronoun “his” is no longer capitalized even when used in reference to God.  (See, for example, this section of the Catechism at the Vatican’s website.) But the traditional usage in reference to God suddenly reappears in reference to Francis!

More significant is the reference to “His Magisterium.” Why not “the Magisterium,” which is the teaching office of the Church, not of a particular Pope?  The Church does not have a different Magisterium with each Pope, but the same Magisterium to which all Popes are bound. Thus, on the very day he was installed as Pope, Benedict XVI declared his intention to subsume his personal ideas to the Magisterium of all time:

“The Pope is not an absolute monarch whose thoughts and desires are law. On the contrary: the Pope’s ministry is a guarantee of obedience to Christ and to his Word. He must not proclaim his own ideas, but rather constantly bind himself and the Church to obedience to God’s Word, in the face of every attempt to adapt it or water it down, and every form of opportunism….”

So, again, why “His magisterium” rather than “the Magisterium”? The answer should be obvious at this point in the crisis provoked by what Antonio Socci has aptly termed “Bergoglianism”: the Magisterium and the teaching of Francis are not one and the same thing.  That is why the four cardinals have posed their dubia. That is why alarm is spreading throughout the Church. That is why protest posters have appeared in Rome, along with the mock edition of L’Osservatore Romano. And that is why the Council of Cardinals has issued its “vote of confidence” in a Pope who is clearly eliciting a vote of “no confidence” from a growing number of the faithful.

The liberal John Allen frets that “one could ask whether such a statement lends a significance to the anti-Francis blowback that heretofore was debatable. From the beginning, most commentators have been cautioning against exaggerating the dimensions of such resistance… By engaging it in such a high-profile way, it’s at least worth mulling whether the cardinals have inadvertently done it a favor.”

Liberals like Allen, along with the members of the C9 echo chamber, would like to bury the “anti-Francis blowback,” which is just a pejorative for “Catholic defense of orthodoxy.” But as Our Lord said when the Pharisees demanded that He rebuke His disciples for praising His “mighty works”: “I say to you, that if these shall hold their peace, the stones will cry out.” (Luke 19:40) That is, the truth of the Magisterium cannot be silenced even if the hierarchy fails in its duty to defend it.

As for Francis and “His Magisterium,” in God’s good time it will pass from memory just as surely as the errors of Honorius, who was posthumously anathematized by an ecumenical council and a successor Pope, and John XXII, who was denounced for preaching heresy from the pulpit before he retracted his error on his deathbed. Both of these Popes, though validly elected, nonetheless transgressed the limits of the Magisterium. Much the same thing, but far worse, is happening today at this turning point in the history of the Church and the world.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us! 

Comment:

How would YOU vote, if the faithful were given the chance to show confidence or no confidence in Papa Francis? There’s no shortage of reasons to vote “no confidence”, but if you can tell us the MAIN reason for your decision, that would be interesting.  If, on the other hand, you’d vote “yes, confidence” – choose your words carefully… We’re jes dyin’ to hear from you…